How to Be a Bad Writer, Then How to Get Better

A book that reads, "Words of a troubled mind," probably something a bad writer wrote.

What is a bad writer?

Not someone who isn’t sure where to put a comma, not someone who isn’t sure what the difference is between “effect” and “affect,” and not someone who writes in run-on sentences. No, none of these things mean that someone is a bad writer. No, no, in fact, it is something much simpler than that. You are bad writer if you don’t write.

I became a bad writer.

It has been approximately three months since I have sat down and worked on any project. Ultimately, I ceased to be a writer, which makes me the worst writer of all. A writer who says they are a writer, but doesn’t write, is nothing more than a liar. So, not only am I not a writer, I am a liar.

I used every excuse in the book to not write. I had just moved, so my office wasn’t set up. My notebook was hidden away in a box somewhere and not easily accessible. I couldn’t bring myself to write in an imperfect environment. I was tired from work. A new YouTube video was published, and I needed to watch it. Clothes needed to be folded in the laundry room. I had every excuse not to write, so I didn’t write. While any of these very well could be a decent reason not to write for one day, there is ultimately no excuse to have ceased writing for three months.

So, today, I am going to list out how to be a good writer, and these will, hopefully, be my start back towards being a better writer:

You should try to write at least once a day

Life inevitably will get in the way. That is just how life is: intrusive and completely ignorant to your goals and plans. However, if you go ahead and start making it a routine, there is a much greater chance that if you do have to miss a day for one of life’s plots, you won’t fall of the bandwagon.

Make it public

Get a writing partner, join NaNoWriMo in November, find someone else who has a creative project at work or school and setup a weekly meet-up where you share your ideas, what you’ve created, etc. The more people you have around you that know your goals, the more likely you will be to complete them. Think of it like positive peer pressure.

If you just can’t bring yourself to write one day, read

Reading will help with your writing. It can expose you to new styles, expand your vocabulary, and help solidify some of those basic grammar rules you may have forgotten from middle school. More importantly, reading can help re-inspire you. So, if you just can’t bring yourself to write one day, for whatever reason, read. It’s the next best thing for you and your writing.

Just accept that you aren’t going to be a perfect writer

Ultimately, no matter what I do, I will never be a perfect writer. I will always make mistakes, my first drafts will never come out the way I want them to, and I will occasionally miss writing days. That is okay, but I can’t let the prospect of failure stop me from writing. I have only truly failed when I have stopped writing.

So keep writing and keep dreaming. Let’s grow together and be better writers.

Lissy

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